9 man Spartans hold on to earn a share of the spoils in Dalbeattie draw

Posted on Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Goals by Danny Main and Keith McLeod see Spartans pick up a valuable point on the road.

Spartans started off the better of the sides and took a deserved ninth minute lead. McLeod was unlucky not to score after his shot in the box was well saved by Dalbeattie’s Martin. From the resultant corner, Beesley pushed the ball back out to Grant who delivered an inch perfect cross into the danger zone for Main, who left the keeper with no chance with a bullet of a header sending the travelling support wild. 0-1

Struthers had the ball in the net for the home side in the 21st minute however the linesman correctly called him offside.

Moments later, a delightful chip on the edge of the box by Beesley saw the playmaker’s shot landed the wrong side of the crossbar, leaving Martin rooted to the spot.

After a night of incessant rain in the Dumfries area, the Isleworth surface was soft underfoot causing both sets of players some difficulty in keeping their feet.

The Dalbeattie goal continued to lead a charmed life and on the half-hour mark, lady luck was certainly on the side of the Star as Spartans came close three times in as many minutes.

McLeod was once again unfortunate to come up against an in-form Martin who saved well from him at close range. Beesley whipped in the following corner-kick, only to see the keeper fingertip the ball away from the head of Bremner.

Play raged on and when the ball was spread across the greasy surface, Main was centimetres away from converting a Beesley cross as he slid in with his long legs in a valiant attempt to get enough on the ball to guide it home.

As the game headed towards half-time, Dalbeattie drew level after an innocuous cross into the box appeared to slip out of Bennett’s grasp under a Milligan challenge and he gratefully poked the ball into the unguarded net for the equaliser.

Bremner found himself in the book ahead of the half-time whistle.

Half Time: Dalbeattie Star 1-1 Spartans

Spartans doubled their booking tally in the 53rd minute as Sivewright incurred the wrath of the Ref after a strong challenge in midfield that saw Fergusson require treatment.

Both sides were keen to put on a display of football and the fans were certainly getting value for money with plenty action at either end, to keep the paying public, and those tall enough to sneak a look over the wall, in fine voice.

The Star fans were certainly vocal in the 62nd minute as Bremner was upended in the home 18 yard box as he raced towards the byeline, leaving the Ref in little doubt over the award of a spot-kick.

After the dust had settled, McLeod stepped up and sent Martin the wrong way to send Spartans back into the lead. 1-2.

The match began to become an edgy affair with frustration creeping in. Spartans Manager Dougie Samuel brought Beacher into the game as he replaced Bremner who was walking the tightrope on a yellow card.

Henretty’s challenge on Sloan saw him get his name taken and moments after, the industrious striker was withdrawn to allow Motion to come on off the bench.

With the home support getting behind their boys, Star searched for a second equaliser however they had to wait until the 80tt minute to get their goal.

There was no doubt over the validity of the goal this time for Jamie Struthers as he raced on to a long ball to put his side back on level terms. 2-2.

The game took a bizarre twist with 5 minutes to go. McLeod made way for Ross who immediately got involved in the action, attack aerial deliveries looking for a goal that would surely secure a win.

However, instead of grabbing a late winner, the substitute striker sensationally grabbed an early red card! After what appeared to have been a foul on the Spartans striker on the edge of the Dalbeattie box, the Ref surprised everyone inside the ground by booking Ross for ‘persistent infringement’, quite a feat having been on the field for a mere 180 seconds or so.

To further compound his misery, Ross was shown a second yellow in the aftermath after entering into discussion with the official over the initial caution.

Worse was to follow. John Grant, like so many in Spartans colours on and off the pitch, was clearly confused by the decision to send his team mate off.  Following a brief chat with the whistler, he bizarrely found himself following Ross up the tunnel for an early shower.

Dalbeattie pressed in a valiant attempt to use their numerical advantage to secure an unlikely win however staunch defending by Blaikie and Main amongst others saw the 9-man Spartans hang on to a draw which could prove to be very important come the end of the campaign.

Full Time: Dalbeattie Star 2-2 Spartans

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Danny Main

Teams: Bennett, Grant, Cennerazzo, Sivewright, Main, Blaikie, Bremner, Whatley, Henretty, McLeod, Beelsey. Subs: Ross, Beacher, Brown, Motion, Gilpin

In other news, our East of Scotland side drew 3-3 in a pulsating clash away to Easthouses.  Look out for their match report on this site tomorrow evening.

Next Fixture

Date: 23/07/24
Opponent: Forfar Athletic
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Premier Sports Cup
Kick off: 7.45pm

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